Murfreesboro businessman Shane Reeves, a Republican candidate in the 14th State Senate District special election, is promising to donate his legislative per diem to charity if he is elected. Legislators within 50 miles of the Capitol currently receive mileage reimbursement for travel at a rate of 47 cents per mile and $59 per day for meals and incidental expenses while in Nashville on legislative business.
“I am a conservative family man and businessman that plans on taking this same conservative approach to Nashville as a State Senator,” Reeves said in statement released on Friday.
“Since I am seeking to work for the people of the 14th district, my travel expenses from Murfreesboro to Nashville should fall on me– not the taxpayers. I am pledging today to make the ‘Conservative Per Diem Pledge’ and donate all of those funds back to the 14th district taxpayers,” Reeves added.
Reeves did not disclose exactly which charity would benefit from his contribution of the per diem reimbursements if he is elected.
The statement continued:
Lawmakers across Tennessee receive reimbursement for the expenses they incur for driving back and forth from Nashville and for nights away from home. Some lawmakers have been known to take advantage of the per diem system.
“One of the questions that I want to ask myself every day is, ‘What can I do today to ensure that I am being a good steward with Tennessee tax dollars?’ I have spent my entire life in business giving back time and money to causes that I believe in that are located in my community. It will be a great privilege to continue this philosophy as a state senator.”
Reeves is running in the January 25th special Republican primary election for the GOP nomination to compete in the March special general election to fill the seat that former State Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) vacated in early November. The district includes Rutherford, Bedford, Marshall, Moore, and Lincoln counties. Tracy immediately endorsed Reeves as soon as he announced his intention to run for the seat.
Reeves’ primary opponent, former State Representative Joe Carr (R-Lascassas), says he finds Reeves’ promise to refuse the reimbursements to be laughable.
“This is a guy who stuffed a million dollars in Tennessee taxpayer money into his pocket in 2016, thanks to a grant from Economic Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, who then got an endorsement and a $5,000 check to his Governor’s campaign from Reeves. But he’s a ‘conservative’ because he won’t accept about $20 a day in mileage reimbursement if he is elected? Shane could make 521 trips to Anchorage, Alaska — 4080 miles away, and warmer than Middle Tennessee today — and collect less mileage reimbursement than he got in his million dollar sweetheart deal from taxpayers! If Shane is really a conservative, he needs to return that million dollars immediately,” Carr noted.
Carr went on to criticize the fact that Reeves has launched a negative campaign attack mail piece at Carr that was delivered earlier this week.
“Despite the assurances made to me personally from both Shane Reeves’ father, former Murfreesboro Mayor Richard Reeves, and his campaign treasurer Teb Batey, that the Reeves campaign would not engage in the typical ‘negative attack ads.’ that politicians spew at election time, Shane showed his true colors with a political hit piece delivered into mailboxes in the 14th Senatorial District yesterday,” Carr said.
“I am disappointed in Shane; and I hope two men I have long respected and admired will dis-tance themselves from the politics as usual being used to advance the ‘win at all costs’ ambitions of Shane Reeves,” Carr pointed out.
“While loudly declaring himself ‘not a politician’ Shane is showing that he is the worst kind of hypocritical politician by resorting to inaccurate and deceptive personal attacks while patting himself on the back for being such a strong man of ‘faith.” Actions speak louder than words, and Shane’s shameful actions reveal who he really is,” he concluded.
Democrat Gayle Jordan is unopposed in the January 25 primary, and will meet the winner of the Republican primary in the March 13 general election.
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